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15 of the most awesome sandwiches from around the world

By / 06.01.12
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Anyone who enjoys food enjoys sandwiches. And if they don't then they're wrong. Sandwiches can range from childhood favorites like PB&J, ones that go great with a beer like a juicy cheeseburger, deli classics like the Italian submarine, diner staples like triple-decker BLTs and picnic fare like tuna, chicken or egg salad. But there are loads of handheld meals out there that are just a little more ethnic, exotic and obscure. Get ready to get seriously food horny, because here are some awesome regional and worldwide sandwiches, some of which you may have never heard of or tried. Which have you had, and what's your favorite?

15/14 Tortas/Cemitas (Mexico)

What is it?:
These are, in essence, Mexican sandwiches. And let me tell you, although every Mexican restaurant touts their fare as "authentic," you've never been to an authentic Mexican establishment until you've been to one that serves these. One of my favorite versions has avocado, a mild, white Mexican string cheese, poblano peppers, breaded steak, chorizo, ham, onions and a fried egg on a thick and doughy, egg-washed, sesame seed-topped roll.



Why is it so delicious?:
It's an amalgamation of heavy, greasy, flavorful, awe-inspiring, heart-seizing glory.

What is it?:
Crusty bread with pork, pate', jalapeno, cilantro and julienned carrot and radish. Other versions have fried cat fish, meatballs or tofu.



Why is it so delicious?:
This is the freshest tasting sandwich you'll ever have due to the highly flavorful veggies featured in each crunchy bite. The savory/salty meat and crusty bread round out the package and you can always bet that a banh mi will have a low price tag.

What is it?:
A grilled or toasted hot dog bread bun, split and then filled with lobster salad (often made with lobster claw meat, mayo, crunchy green vegetables, herbs, lemon juice and spices).



Why is it so delicious?:
Fresh, sweet lobster meets creamy mayo, toasted bread and a light touch of vegetables, herbs, spices and lemon. It's fancy food, served in an unassuming, handheld culinary vessel.

What is it?:
Pita or lafah (warm, chewy, flatbread) filled with moist, sliced bits of turkey or chicken, spreads like hummus, tahini or baba ghanoush, cabbage, lettuce, hot peppers, tomato and sometimes even french fries.



Why is it so delicious?:
No matter what type of meat is used, it's always salty, succulent and bursting with flavor. Add to that the crunch of the vegetables, the smooth sandwich-ian lubrication of the Middle Eastern condiments and the chewiness of the flat bread it's wrapped in and you've got yourself something special.

What is it?:
A French baguette with lettuce, tomato, mayo and either fried shrimp or fried oysters. Other variations have crawfish, sausage or chicken.



Why is it so delicious?:
Because fresh, fried, creamy, crunchy and crispy makes a great sandwich.

9/8 Gyro/Souvlaki (Greece)

What is it?:
We all know the gyro (and it's pronounced yee-roh, you uncultured swine!) which has strips of seasoned beef, lamb or chicken, tomato, onion, lettuce and tzatziki (yogurt, mint and cucumber sauce) on pita. Delicious. Then there's souvlaki which is much the same, except has less salty, non-processed chunks of chicken, beef, lamb or pork that have usually been marinated and grilled before gracing the sandwich with their presence.



Why is it so delicious?:
The chew of the pita, the crunch of the vegetables and the pleasant pull of the meat all feel great as you taste the contrast between savory, salty, herbaceous meat and the bright tanginess of the tzatziki and vegetables.

What is it?:
Though there are many versions, a classic is hard, crusty bread rubbed with a tomato and layered with Serrano ham and sometimes manchego cheese.



Why is it so delicious?:
Good, crusty bread and the bright notes of a fresh tomato are a great canvas for the salty, complex flavor of aged Iberian ham.

What is it?:
A pressed panini-type sandwich with sliced pickles, mustard, ham, roast pork shoulder and Swiss.



Why is it so delicious?:
It's got a sharp flavor profile of tartness, nuttiness, zestiness, sweetness and meatiness that's deceivingly addictive.

5/4/3 Monte Cristo/Croque Monsieur/Croque Madam (France)

What is it?:
These are all variations of hot meat and cheese sandwiches. There are a bunch of varieties, but the most popular in the States is the Monte Cristo: a turkey, ham and cheese sandwich with egg-batter fried bread. The Monsieur is basically a grilled cheese with ham and the Madam is a Monsieur with a fried egg on top.



Why is it so delicious?:
The theme here is hot, buttery, cheesy, egg-y goodness in a sandwich. Basically, French toast and grilled cheese decided to have a baby, and replaced sweet with meat.

What is it?:
Grilled or toasted rye bread with Russian dressing, sauerkraut, corned beef and melted Swiss.



Why is it so delicious?:
Meaty, briny, creamy, sweet, sour and cheesy an excellent sandwich makes.

What is it?:
French bread dipped in beef jus (liquified beef fat, yum) with tender beef on top.



Why is it so delicious?:
Unless you have beef with beef, you're going to love this savory beef on beef action. Beef.

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TAGSArbitrary RankingsBanh mibest sandwichesBocadilloCemitasCroque MadamCroque MonsieurCuban Sandwichethnic sandwichesexotic sandwichesfeaturedFrench Dipgreatest sandwichesGyroListsLobster RollMexican sandwichesMonte CristoPo Boyregional sandwichesReubensandwiches of the worldShawarmaSouvlakitastiest sandwichestasty sandwichesTortasunique sandwiches
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